Tag Archives: Aedes

Beware the Day Mosquito

An Anopheles stephensi :en:mosquito is obtaini...

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People living in countries like India, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Sri Lanka, bordering the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea, have recently been suffering from high fever, red rashes, muscle aches and incapacitating and excruciating joint pain. The disease, chikungunya, has now assumed epidemic proportions. It disregards economic status and affects everyone, from the poor farmer in his hut to the well-heeled businessman in his mansion. Entire families, housing colonies, villages and townships suffer together.

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It starts suddenly and as the small joints of the hands and feet are affected the person is unable to walk. It fells a previously healthy person to the ground. Once the fever subsides, the joint pain remains for around 10-15 days in the young, 1-2 months in the middle aged and 3-6 months or even five years in older people. Work comes to a grinding halt as the patient is prostrate with a headache and joint pain.

High fever and joint pain can appear acutely in other infections like dengue, malaria or filaria. Joint pains caused by chikungunya last for months, so that it can be confused with non-infectious diseases like rheumatoid or osteoarthritis. Fortunately these diseases can be ruled out with X-rays and appropriate blood tests.

Chikungunya (meaning ‘bent over’ in an African tribal language) created confusion among physicians till it was rightly diagnosed during the present epidemic that started in 2006. Significantly, it wasn’t the first time that chikungunya was reported in India. In 1971 an epidemic of chikungunya was proven and documented in Calcutta.

Chikungunya is an arbo virus infection transmitted by the bite of the Aedes mosquito, a small, innocuous insect with an attractive striped body. As the mosquito is a daytime biter which is “domesticated”, entire families can be affected within a few days of each other. This is because, unlike the Culex and Anopheles mosquito species, which bite at dawn and dusk, the Aedes mosquito bites in broad daylight. It loves civilisation, and thrives and breeds prolifically in the new urban environment with open water storage, poor sewage disposal, and inadequate uncovered drains. It is a hardy survivor which requires only in a few millilitres of water to breed in, a quantity that easily accumulates in old tyres, upturned bottle caps and flower vases. It can also survive in luggage, clothes, cars, trains and planes and then be inadvertently carried by tourists from one place to another. The Indian epidemic has now spread to Italy and other countries in Europe. There is a reservoir of infection as the virus survives in warm blooded vertebrates like monkeys, rodents and birds.

Treatment for chikungunya is not very satisfactory. NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and paracetemol can be used for pain and fever. New studies have shown that 250mg of chloroquine (a drug used for malaria) once a day reduces joint pain. Patients become very frustrated as the response is slow and unpredictable. This makes them “doctor shop” and opt for non-conventional therapy. This can result in misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment and may be dangerous.

There is no vaccine to prevent chikungunya. The only effective method is to prevent the mosquito bites. Since the bites occur in the daytime, mosquito nets are not effective. Keeping an affected individual in a net for 24 hours a day prevents the disease spreading to others in the house. The breeding of the mosquito should be prevented by eliminating breeding grounds.

As you walk, turn over bottles caps and coconut shells so that rainwater doesn’t accumulate and stagnate. Straighten sagging canvas and plastic coverings periodically.

Empty air conditioning and cooler trays. Alternatively, put a handful of salt into the tray so that mosquitoes cannot breed.

Do not place trays under potted plants. Empty pots and vases regularly.

Fix mosquito mesh on open tanks and wells.

Windows and doors can be “mosquito proofed” using inexpensive plastic mesh.

BTI (bacillus thurin giensis israelensis) is a naturally occurring bacterium that kills immature mosquito larvae. It is available with the government malaria control division. The substance is nontoxic to humans and can be dumped in stagnant brackish or slowly flowing water.

There are some hardy mosquito larva eating ornamental fish, like Gambusia and Poecilia (guppy), which can be added to public ponds, canals and sewers.

Coils, liquid repellents and mosquito mats are better avoided. They should not be used in places where there are children below the age of six months. They can cause respiratory allergy, and lead to wheezing and sneezing in susceptible individuals.

Many mosquitoes are now resistant to DDT and other commonly used insecticides so that they survive and reproduce despite regular spraying by government and private agencies. Spraying the environment with insecticides causes the development of “pesticide resistance” in mosquitoes and respiratory allergies in susceptible individuals. It is eventually counterproductive.

Sources: The Telegrapg (Kolkata, India)

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Dengue Fever

Definition:

Dengue fever is a disease caused by a family of viruses that are transmitted by mosquitoes. It is an acute illness of sudden onset that usually follows a benign course with headache, fever, exhaustion, severe joint and muscle pain, swollen glands (lymphadenopathy), and rash. The presence (the “dengue triad”) of fever, rash, and headache (and other pains) is particularly characteristic of dengue.

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Dengue (pronounced DENG-gay) strikes people with low levels of immunity. Because it is caused by one of four serotypes of virus, it is possible to get dengue fever multiple times. However, an attack of dengue produces immunity for a lifetime to that particular serotype to which the patient was exposed.
Dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) are acute febrile diseases, found in the tropics and Africa, and caused by four closely related virus serotypes of the genus Flavivirus, family Flaviviridae. The geographical spread is similar to malaria, but unlike malaria, dengue is often found in urban areas of tropical nations, including Puerto Rico,Singapore,Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia, Philippines, India and Brazil. Each serotype is sufficiently different that there is no cross-protection and epidemics caused by multiple serotypes (hyperendemicity) can occur. Dengue is transmitted to humans by the Aedes aegypti (rarely Aedes albopictus) mosquito, which feeds during the day.

How is dengue contracted?
The virus is contracted from the bite of a striped Aedes aegypti mosquito that has previously bitten an infected person. The mosquito flourishes during rainy seasons but can breed in water-filled flower pots, plastic bags, and cans year-round.

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Aedes aegypti mosquito

One mosquito bite can inflict the disease.
The virus is not contagious and cannot be spread directly from person to person. There must be a person-to-mosquito-to-another-person pathway.

Signs & symptoms:

Dengue starts with chills, headache, pain upon moving the eyes, and low backache. Painful aching in the legs and joints occurs during the first hours of illness. The temperature rises quickly as high as 104° F (40° C), with relative low heart rate (bradycardia) and low blood pressure (hypotension). The eyes become reddened. A flushing or pale pink rash comes over the face and then disappears. The glands (lymph nodes) in the neck and groin are often swollen.

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This infectious disease is manifested by a sudden onset of fever, with severe headache, muscle and joint pains (myalgias and arthralgias—severe pain gives it the name break-bone fever or bonecrusher disease) and rashes. The dengue rash is characteristically bright red petechiae and usually appears first on the lower limbs and the chest; in some patients, it spreads to cover most of the body. There may also be gastritis with some combination of associated abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

Other symptoms include:

* fever;
* bladder problems;
* constant headaches;
* severe dizziness; and,
* loss of appetite.
* uncontrollable laughing,
* extreme constipation

Some cases develop much milder symptoms which can, when no rash is present, be misdiagnosed as influenza or other viral infection. Thus travelers from tropical areas may inadvertently pass on dengue in their home countries, having not been properly diagnosed at the height of their illness. Patients with dengue can pass on the infection only through mosquitoes or blood products and only while they are still febrile.

The classic dengue fever lasts about six to seven days, with a smaller peak of fever at the trailing end of the disease (the so-called “biphasic pattern”). Clinically, the platelet count will drop until the patient’s temperature is normal.

Cases of DHF also show higher fever, haemorrhagic phenomena, thrombocytopenia, and haemoconcentration. A small proportion of cases lead to dengue shock syndrome (DSS) which has a high mortality rate.

Diagnosis:

The diagnosis of dengue is usually made clinically. The classic picture is high fever with no localising source of infection, a petechial rash with thrombocytopenia and relative leukopenia.

The WHO definition of dengue haemorrhagic fever has been in use since 1975; all four criteria must be fulfilled:

1. Fever, bladder problem, constant headaches, severe dizziness and loss of appetite.
2. Hemorrhagic tendency (positive tourniquet test, spontaneous bruising, bleeding from mucosa, gingiva, injection sites, etc.; vomiting blood, or bloody diarrhea)
3. Thrombocytopenia (<100,000 platelets per mm³ or estimated as less than 3 platelets per high power field)
4. Evidence of plasma leakage (hematocrit more than 20% higher than expected, or drop in haematocrit of 20% or more from baseline following IV fluid, pleural effusion, ascites, hypoproteinemia)

Dengue shock syndrome is defined as dengue hemorrhagic fever plus:

* Weak rapid pulse,
* Narrow pulse pressure (less than 20 mm Hg) or,
* Cold, clammy skin and restlessness.

Serology and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) studies are available to confirm the diagnosis of dengue if clinically indicated.

Treatment:

Because dengue is caused by a virus, there is no specific medicine or antibiotic to treat it. For typical dengue, the treatment is purely concerned with relief of the symptoms (symptomatic).

The mainstay of treatment is supportive therapy. Increased oral fluid intake is recommended to prevent dehydration. Supplementation with intravenous fluids may be necessary to prevent dehydration and significant concentration of the blood if the patient is unable to maintain oral intake. A platelet transfusion is indicated in rare cases if the platelet level drops significantly (below 20,000) or if there is significant bleeding.

The presence of melena may indicate internal gastrointestinal bleeding requiring platelet and/or red blood cell transfusion.

Aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs should be avoided as these drugs may worsen the bleeding tendency associated with some of these infections. Patients may receive paracetamol preparations to deal with these symptoms if dengue is suspected.

You may click to see:->Herbal Cure for Dengue

Dengue Fever Cure using Tawa Tawa aka Gatas Gatas weed

Papaya Juice Can Cure Dengue

Dengue Cure Protocol

Dengue Cure discovered in Ayurveda ……(1)....(2)

Emerging treatments

Emerging evidence suggests that mycophenolic acid and ribavirin inhibit dengue replication. Initial experiments showed a fivefold increase in defective viral RNA production by cells treated with each drug. In vivo studies, however, have not yet been done.

Prevention:

Vaccine development

There is no commercially available vaccine for the dengue flavivirus. However, one of the many ongoing vaccine development programs is the Pediatric Dengue Vaccine Initiative which was set up in 2003 with the aim of accelerating the development and introduction of dengue vaccine(s) that are affordable and accessible to poor children in endemic countries. Thai researchers are testing a dengue fever vaccine on 3,000–5,000 human volunteers after having successfully conducted tests on animals and a small group of human volunteers. A number of other vaccine candidates are entering phase I or II testing.

Mosquito control
A field technician looking for larvae in standing water containers during the 1965 Aedes aegypti eradication program in Miami, Florida. In the 1960s, a major effort was made to eradicate the principal urban vector mosquito of dengue and yellow fever viruses, Aedes aegypti, from southeast United States. Courtesy: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Public Health Image Library
A field technician looking for larvae in standing water containers during the 1965 Aedes aegypti eradication program in Miami, Florida. In the 1960s, a major effort was made to eradicate the principal urban vector mosquito of dengue and yellow fever viruses, Aedes aegypti, from southeast United States. Courtesy: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Public Health Image Library

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Primary prevention of dengue mainly resides in mosquito control. There are two primary methods: larval control and adult mosquito control. In urban areas, Aedes mosquitos breed on water collections in artificial containers such as plastic cups, used tires, broken bottles, flower pots, etc. Continued and sustained artificial container reduction or periodic draining of artificial containers is the most effective way of reducing the larva and thereby the aedes mosquito load in the community. For reducing the adult mosquito load, fogging with insecticide is somewhat effective.

Prevention of mosquito bites is another way of preventing disease. This can be achieved either by personal protection or by using mosquito nets. In 1998, scientists from the Queensland Institute of Research in Australia and Vietnam’s Ministry of Health introduced a scheme that encouraged children to place a water bug, the crustacean Mesocyclops, in water tanks and discarded containers where the Aedes aegypti mosquito was known to thrive. This method is viewed as being more cost-effective and more environmentally friendly than pesticides, though not as effective, and requires the ongoing participation of the community.

Personal protection

Personal prevention consists of the use of mosquito nets, repellents containing NNDB or DEET, covering exposed skin, use of DEET-impregnated bednets, and avoiding endemic areas.

Dengue is caused by the bites of the tiger striped Aedes aegypti mosquito, which, unfortunately, is a daytime mosquito. It hides in dark corners in houses and breeds in clean water in flowerpots and even bottle caps. Also, there is no immunisation as yet against dengue.

One could make sure there is no stagnant water in  his or her  house. The house should be “mosquito proofed” with mesh covered windows and doors. Wear protective clothing and apply mosquito repellent ointment or liquid on the clothes. The vapourising mosquito repellents will drive away the mosquitoes, but the smoke is toxic to humans also.

Potential antiviral approaches

In cell culture experiments and mice Morpholino antisense oligos have shown specific activity against Dengue virus.

The yellow fever vaccine (YF-17D) is a related Flavivirus,[clarify] thus the chimeric replacement of yellow fever vaccine with dengue has been often suggested[clarify] but no full scale studies have been conducted to date.

In 2006, a group of Argentine scientists discovered the molecular replication mechanism of the virus, which could be attacked by disruption of the polymerase’s work

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dengue_fever
http://www.medicinenet.com/dengue_fever/article.htm#1whatis

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Now a vaccine to control blood pressure

LONDON: British scientists have developed a vaccine which they claim will help people suffering from hypertension to control their blood pressure.

The vaccine developed by Cheshire-based drug firm Protherics has been successfully tested and is expected in the markets within five years.

The vaccine uses a protein found in limpets, a sea creature, to attack a hormone called angiotensin produced by the liver. Angiotensin raises blood pressure by narrowing arteries. The vaccine, however, turns the body’s immune system against the hormone.

It would need a course of just three jabs, with a booster every six months.

A booster shot every six months, or even once a year, would keep blood pressure low, the researchers said.

People who have tried it have suffered a few side effects, although one in ten did complain of a brief flu-like illness.

Protherics is planning trials of an improved version of the vaccine, which is ten times more effective at stimulating the immune system than its original formula, the Daily Mail reported.

“Improving compliance in this way could save thousands from life-threatening complications such as heart attack or stroke,” said Andrew Heath, an official of Protherics.

High blood pressure which affects a third of all adults doubles the risk of dying from heart disease or stroke and is blamed for 60,000 deaths a year in Britain. It is currently treated with pills with side effects and some patients simply stop taking them.

The Swiss firm Cytos Biotechnology is also developing a similar vaccine that uses an empty virus shell to spur the immune system into action.

Source:The Times Of India